One thing that the pandemic has taught us is the inadequacy of the ‘free market’ when it comes to crises. The fact that it’s the most Neoliberal nations in the world which currently have the highest per capita death tolls from Covid-19 may be evidence of this. In the UK, the grotesque failures of the government’s preferred policy of commissioning private companies – usually Conservative Party donors or personal chums of ministers – to supply PPE and other medical necessities to tackle the crisis, at the loss of millions of pounds to the Exchequer (i.e. to us), are by now notorious. Crises like this surely require socialism (of one kind or another) to get us through them.
Which makes nonsense of the extraordinary claim made by Boris Johnson yesterday (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-56504546), that the successful roll-out of the vaccine in Britain is proof – not only of the advantages of Brexit, which we would expect him to say – but also of the superiority of capitalism, no less; and more than that, of ‘greed’ (his word), so echoing the sentiment of the villainous Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVxYOQS6ggk): ‘Greed is Good!’ To me that sounds both stupid, and a possible clue to the path he’s leading us along.
As with Trump, everything Johnson says is meaningless except in terms of his own grandiosity and self advancement. I hope Peter Oborne is still keeping a list of his untruths, as it should end up even longer than Trumps.
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